California Southern University Reviews
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I have a masters in Clinical Counseling from an APA accredited school, and am currently working as a mental health counselor. I have attended both state and private schools and the curriculum and level of mastery expected by California Southern is by far the most challenging. I had reservations at first in obtaining my PsyD from an online school, however California Southern has exceeded my expectations. They have a plethora of online resources and data bases. I am currently enrolled in my third class and plan on continuing. That being said, this program is a fit for a person who is a self starter and is able to work independently.
If you are able to withstand the rigors of a focused program with specific criteria that needs to be met this will be a good program to consider. With regional accreditation this program does meet the requirements in a number of states to sit for licensure as a psychologist. It is critical to determine if your state will accept this program as some do not. The doctoral project process is rigorous without the sacrifice of years of schooling focused on one topic as with PhD programs. I became a better clinician, met a primary life goal and have now had career opportunities that I would never otherwise had because of my education at CSU. If you need a lot of consistent feedback, socialization and assistance to stay on task this may not be the program for you. If you are a busy clinician who wants a flexible academic schedule that a full time doctoral program would not be suitable for CSU may just be exactly what you are looking for. The reasonable tuition rates don't exactly hurt either. Great experience all the way around.
I have only taken a few courses so far. My academic advisor isnt very responsive and you get the sense that she feels put upon in each interaction. In fact, it should have been a red flag to me when she called me twice within about an hour when I enrolled to welcome me with the identical spiel; she had no idea she already just talked to me and was fake knowledgeable about me personally. I didnt say anything. I just listened both times and laughingly mentioned to my friend that I could tell the experience was going to be less than personal. Hopefully I wont need to count on her for anything too important, a little worrisome. My teachers (they use the term faculty mentor) have been good and available, but really you need to be self-motivated and able to figure things out for yourself. My second teacher seemed to be new to the school and was having difficulty understanding their systems. It made it a little tricky because I got the feeling from her that people might have been complaining about her learning curve and so she seemed a little on edge. It all worked out though. The classes are good. If you have no experience in psychology, the material is challenging - not neurosurgery, med school challenging but you cant just spend a few hours each weekend and get through the material. It is time consuming with lots of reading, 4-6 papers per class, a weekly forum blog to post and a two-hour final exam covering all the material from the texts. As an aside, buy your texts online somewhere. I tried their bookstore on their website and it was a train wreck, with nice people who were completely incompetent (at least in the one instance when I tried to buy from them). Also, do not rely on their list of books in the section where you click on links to classes and books needed; go to the course syllabus and get books listed there. I have at least one instance where there was a mismatch and the syllabus is what is operable. By the way, another instance when I reached out to my advisor who was her usual completely unhelpful self. I am reasonably happy with my experience so far for the price. I am very happy with classes and teachers and if my advisors responsiveness and interactional style were better, I would rate it as an excellent experience. So, I am not worried that I am not learning what I need, but just slightly concerned that if (really when) I hit a glitch, I have an advisor that wont be all that helpful.
The faculty are nice and mean well, but are underpaid and so I can't really blame them for not always being available when you need them. The admin staff or 'academic advisors' as they are called, in the school of business are under-qualified and will get back to you when they feel like it. Jovan Zamorano was always great example of the level of incompetence I grew to expect when dealing with the staff.
If you are a self starter who learns well on their own and can commit to a fast paced program, then this is the school for you. Classes run about 8 weeks long (1/2 the time of the traditional 16 week semester format) and unless you have minimal other responsibilities I wouldn't recommend taking more than 1 class at a time. You're assigned 2 or 3 chapters per week to read. Forum discussions are weekly and mandatory as they account for a % of your final grade. You will have 4 or more papers assigned in the course syllabus. And yes, there is a comprehensive final exam. The assignments are arranged to encourage you to formulate your own conclusions and support your argument by applying the theories you have studied. An advisor is assigned to each student to help guide them through the master's program. And a mentor is assigned to each course to provide support and feedback. Mentors, like professors, have office hours and grade your work; however, they do not "teach" the class. They are there as a resource if guidance is needed, but you will ultimately be in charge of your own learning. This means you have to read the book, research via the virtual library of articles and journals if you don't understand something, confer with your classmates, use the video library to supplement the coursework, and be an active participant in your learning experience. This structure is well organized and easy to follow. They provide a suggested schedule, so as long as you're on pace or faster you won't be overwhelmed by the end of the course. They provide Microsoft Office 365 which includes word and outlook. They are regionally accredited, so I felt comfortable applying to earn my degree from them. You won't regret being a CalSouthern student. Their integrity and dedication to the quality of their students' education convinced me that they are the best online university to attend.
CSU is no joke, that is why the university is regionally accredited. The weekly course work is highly structured to expose learners to the 21st century business environment. As 100% online university, mentors present those required guide and explanation for your success. Some mentors went extra length to arrange WebEx meeting with learners which provided networking opportunity, and better understanding of the course content. i will recommend the CSU DBA to those that want to have the knowledge plus the Dr. behind their names. For those seeking for the later, CSU is not the place,
The program is not self-pace and is way too fast for you average working adult. I believe the school in one way is trying to give you an education, but at the end of the day is a business and will act and do accordingly. School is expanding since they got RA status and the price of tuition was raised. Now, if you got lock in a payment plan and you rush to finish, you may get your degree for about $27k plus fees etc.... Since, with previous experience with them (Northcentral University), when they grow chaos start to surfaces and things does not go accordingly to plan. Truth to be told, getting a DBA from any university is a vanity move (an expensive one), and is not worth the money or the time. Times has changed and education is not worth what is used to be. Things to remember in the new economic, experience counts more that what you had accomplish in education and is who you know that matters. Good luck to anyone attending CSU, you will need it for sure.
I have started the psychology program and it is very rigorous. There is a lot of work. Everyone in the school has been kind and ethical . I have a Master's degree from a highly regarded brick and mortar school and I find this school more challenging. It is well managed and organized. As an administrator of a behavioral health program, I appreciate being able to attend this school online with other mature students from all over the world who have substantial clinical experience.
I have graduated from one brick and mortar school and two online schools. I was most proud and most satisfied with California Southern University. The price was good and the course work challenging, but most important of all, the instructors were clearly competent and you knew you were getting a solid education. Instructors just don't give you a grade for your paper, you get comments on why something was wrong and encouragement for things that are good. The course development is second to none and the online lecture series are very informative. Upon visiting the school (which is always encouraged when in California), I found the staff very friendly and attentive. The Dean of the Law department was amazing and the support staff could not have been more welcoming. I am proud to tell my friends that I am a graduate of this school and highly recommend this school to them. I am an older learner (over fifty) and very involved in numerous projects. Even with all of that going on I was still able to fit my studies into my life schedule. N regrets here.
A great online school for those who are self-motivated and are very independent. A lot of independent study and papers that worked well for me. You get a mentor for each class. He or she grades everything and they are there to provide support when you have any questions. Faculty and staff are very responsive and very helpful. Courses and textbooks are very relevant to your job--as long as you study the textbooks. Proud to have my MBA with them and the two year journey was very rewarding.